When I was a trainee driving instructor many moons ago (it wasn’t for me!), I was told that there are four levels of competency as you learn any new skill:
- Unconsciously incompetent: it looks easy – surely anyone can do it?
- Consciously incompetent: it’s not as easy as I thought – whoops!
- Consciously competent: I’m OK as long as nobody talks…
- Unconsciously competent: yeah, no problem, where do you want to go?
Unconsciously competent Photo © Charlotte Fleming 2012.
The same sort of ranking could be applied to your (potential) clients and customers.
First you have the Unconsciously Ignorant: they don’t even know you (or your services or goods) exist, and they don’t know they need them. Right now, they don’t even count as prospects. This is a tough sector to get through to, but worth it if you can reach them – you know what they say about converts.
Second are the Consciously Ignorant: they have a problem but they don’t know whether the solution even exists, let alone how to find it. If you can reach them, these are very satisfying readers to have because you can really scratch their itch, and they’ll lurve you for that. You just have to connect …
Third come the Consciously Knowledgeable: they’ve just found out about your industry/service/product, it’s solved their problem and they’re telling the world and her cat about it. They don’t yet know as much as they think, so they lap up what you write, and they’re the easiest audience to find blogging ideas for.
Fourth are the Unconsciously Knowledgeable: they know what you can do for them, they use your products or services as often as they need to, they’re as guaranteed as anything is in this world. They don’t really have to think about you any more; you’re part of their lives. But you can always improve that relationship by keeping in touch, telling them what’s new, offering special deals and so on.
For the first two groups, it’s less a question of persuasion and education than of meeting and introduction. You need to work your social media, boost your Facebook posts, run PPC campaigns and so on, to lead them to your website and start the getting-to-know-you process. I can put you in touch with experts in those fields if you want.
The third and fourth groups are already in your sphere of influence. They’re the ones you should write for. Why not the others? Well, by the time they’ve heard of you and are ready to read what you write, they’ve moved themselves out of the first two groups. They know you exist and they at least think they might need your products/services. Now it’s up to you to show them why and how much they really do need you, via your clear, persuasive, compelling writing.
Or, of course, mine! If you haven’t the time, skill or inclination to do the donkey-work yourself, just get in touch →
Who are you writing to now? Comment below ↓